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Tipsheet

IA Senate: Greenfield Says She 'Cannot Control What Outside Groups Do' After Ethics Complaint

Greenfield For Iowa via Facebook

Iowa’s Democratic Senate primary continues to be a target for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as he aims to get Theresa Greenfield, his hand-picked candidate, over the primary finish line. Sen. Schumer’s fundraising group, Senate Majority PAC, has pumped money into Iowa in support of Greenfield and is wasting no time attacking GOP incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). 

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Greenfield echoes Democratic talking points about “money in politics” and reversing the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, which was a huge win for free speech:

“Theresa is committed to building a grassroots campaign by Iowans, for Iowans and won’t take a dime from corporate PACs. Theresa has received grassroots contributions from all 99 counties in Iowa, and has been endorsed by dozens of leaders from around the state,” Greenfield’s website says.

When asked about Senate Majority PAC bankrolling her campaign and running television ads in support of her, Greenfield contends that she has no control over outside groups:

“I cannot control what outside groups are going to do,” Greenfield told The Iowa Starting Line.

Greenfield’s campaign was recently hit with a complaint from a watchdog group, Foundation for Accountability and Trust, claiming illegal collusion with Senate Majority PAC; the complaint alleges that Greenfield signaled for Senate Majority PAC to take information from her campaign website. FACT’s complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC)  points out that Greenfield could have been signaling for SMP to use information by using covers such as “Important Update,” on her campaign website, as Washington Free Beacon reported earlier:

"Several federal candidates have used their campaign websites to request outside organizations, with which they are prohibited from coordinating, produce and run television advertisements on their behalf," the complaint states. "The requests are conveyed in a specific format, i.e. using a campaign webpage entitled ‘Important Update,' identifying the information with specific ‘code words' such as ‘Iowa voters need to hear about,' and linking to a PDF document that is designed to provide the information and citations for the substance of the advertisement, which all appear to be in the same format. The purpose and effect are clear: to give specific instructions, information, and graphic campaign materials to outside organizations to run advertisements beneficial to their campaign,” the complaint reads.

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Federal election law bars candidates from coordinating with Super PACs. Despite the recent complaint against her, Greenfield’s latest "Important Update" on her campaign’s website is a lengthy attack on Sen. Ernst, claiming that she would gut Social Security.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority PAC seem to be determined to ensure Greenfield wins her Senate primary, even if FEC law is potentially violated.

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